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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

pounded by a high rate of population growth. But this interaction can best be stated in another proposition.
Child Labor
Parents who are motivated to exploit their children and who are self-employed farmers have a wide range of opportunities to do so. The aim of poor parents "in having children may be to borrow from them and have them more than 'pay' for themselves during the parents1 own lifetime."* It is obvious that the child has no say whatsoever in the decision of the parents to have the child and virtually no choice but to do the work required by the parents while he is under their control. What is not obvious is the nature of these exploitation opportunities and the extent to which they are exercised. It is clear from the increasing number of social measures in low income countries to protect children that there is a growing awareness that children can be, and to some extent are, exploited. The proposition advanced here asserts that when parents are motivated to exploit their children, the self-employment of farmers affords farm parents the opportunity to do so.
Family Savings
The savings of farm families in low income countries are invested partly in their farm and partly in rearing their children. The effects of agricultural modernization upon savings are far from clear. Where the income from farming rises, the savings of farm families will undoubtedly rise. But what effect, the income-increasing modernization will have upon allocation of the total savings between the new high pay-off physical investment opportunities associated with agricultural modernization and the investment of parents in children is an unsettled question. For most families where there is "high fertility, rapid population growth, and high dependency," these demographic attributes may be strongly associated with low physical savings rates.t The process of modernizing agriculture would appear to have two offsetting effects. First, the increase in the rate of return to investment in farming would induce parents to use less of their total savings in having and rearing children in order to increase the proportion of their savings for physical capital formation. Second, modernization increases requirements for farm labor, adding to the value of children for farm work. The increase in total savings would, in other words, permit parents to increase the amounts they invest in both physical and human capital. The question of which of these two effects is the stronger awaits empirical analysis.
*T. Paul Sclmltz, "An Economic Perspective on Population Growth," in this volume, f //;//., citing (62-66).